What does it mean to be elephant-friendly?

Travel companies all over the world are boldly committing to move away from selling and promoting cruel elephant tourism entertainment, such as rides and shows. By doing so, they are working with World Animal Protection to transition the tourism industry towards an elephant-friendly future.

Be part of the solution: promoting positive, high-welfare elephant experiences

Promoting positive, high-welfare elephant experiences

The best place to see elephants is in the wild, where they are free, or at high-welfare venues, where the elephant's physical and emotional welfare is a top priority.

World Animal Protection is working with a coalition of travel companies to convince venues to stop using elephants for tourist entertainment and transition to become high-welfare venues.

We encourage tourists to support these venues that have transitioned to become high-welfare. They are giving elephants the best possible care and allowing them to live out their lives as naturally as possible. Here you will have a truly authentic experience watching elephants behaving like elephants in their natural environment, while learning about their complex needs and how to protect them.

Guests observing elephant resident Jahn at Following Giants in Thailand.

World Animal Protection helped the Thai venue Following Giants (previously known as Eco-tourism Recreation) transition to become a high-welfare sanctuary, moving from a venue that offers rides and hugs with elephants, to an observation-only model. Pictured: Guests watching Jahn, one of the resident elephants at Following Giants.

How to identify if a venue is high-welfare

Venues called ‘rescue center’ or ‘sanctuary’ aren’t necessarily good for elephants. Ask your travel company and use your own observations to help you judge whether a venue or activity is truly elephant-friendly. Use our checklist to help you know what to look for.

Elephant-friendly checklist

Looking for more animal-friendly travel tips?

Click here to view a PDF of our animal-friendly pocket travel guide, including a genuine sanctuary checklist.

You can print the guide or save it to your phone or any device, so you'll have it handy on your next trip.